Eliminating the racial wealth gap is a daunting yet necessary goal that government officials, corporate entities and socio-political activists have been working towards for many years. Now, banks are setting their sights on leveling the financial playing field for Black people as well. 

J.P. Morgan Wealth Management recently announced the creation of the J.P. Morgan Wealth Management Scholarship Program for students at select historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) interested in a career in financial planning.

The program will provide scholarships and mentorships to students attending one of 11 HBCUs across the United States and will help them develop the skills needed to grow a career as a financial advisor. J.P. Morgan Wealth Management will award 75 scholarships annually over the next five years.

“We’re committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, and that begins by investing in students early on and creating a path for their long-term career success,” said Christopher Thompson, head of Diverse Advisor Experience at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management in a news release. “We look forward to unlocking an enormous talent potential while boosting interest in a career as a financial advisor, which has excellent growth potential.”

This program will work to address the staggering diversity wealth management career pipeline opportunities for students aiming to build a career in the space. 

A January 2021 report from Cerulli Associates highlighted the disparity, saying that, “Women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) remain drastically under-represented among financial advisors.”

The report highlighted that women account for 18.1% of the financial advisor headcount vs. 50.8% of the U.S. population and only 2.9% of advisors are Black vs. 14.2% of the population.

Students receiving the scholarship will have the opportunity to participate in two summer experiences: the Advancing Black Pathways Fellowship Program and the first-of-its-kind J.P. Morgan Wealth Management Service Center Internship and once completed, students will also be eligible for an additional scholarship to be applied to their senior year. 

The 11 eligible HBCUs include: Alabama A&M University, Central State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Paul Quinn College, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Tennessee State University and Winston-Salem State University. Students should apply before June 24 at 11:59 p.m., EST, by going to UNCF.org/JPMWealthManagementScholarship. Scholarships will be awarded and administered by UNCF.